Dion Jackson protests against police violence on April 12, 2001, in downtown Cincinnati. Photo: David Maxwell/AFP via Getty Images.

On April 7, 2001, 19-year-old Timothy Thomas — unarmed and wanted for minor misdemeanors like not wearing a seatbelt — was fatally shot while running from police in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Why it matters: In the wake of the 2001 riots that followed his killing, Cincinnati overhauled its policing policies, which could prove constructive for cities looking to do the same today.

  • Thomas was the fifth African American killed by Cincinnati police in seven months, CNN reported at the time.
  • Several days of violent protests and civil unrest followed. Five months later, a jury found the white officer not guilty.

The city took several steps:

  1. Adopted a very specific use-of-force policy that banned batons, rubber bullets and chokeholds. Also instituted mandatory training for law enforcement on implicit bias, homelessness, drug abuse and de-escalation.
  2. Increased transparency by forming a fully funded, independent citizen complaint authority that publicly investigated allegations against officers.
  3. Changed policing model by targeting repeat violent offenders over minor crimes.
  4. Automatic body cameras: Newer technology has been implemented to automatically turn on body cams when an officer gets out of the car or pulls a gun or taser.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, who was a member of the city council during the 2001 riots, said these actions have instilled more trust and transparency between the police force and the public — and he said it's also reduced both arrests and serious crimes by 50%.

Protests in the city have been turbulent: A police officer was shot on Saturday, but he was not hurt as the bullet struck his helmet. Over the last several nights, Cranley said the vast majority of agitators arrested by the police have been white.

  • "There are many things that are racially unjust here. We're not perfect. But we do think we have made some real strides," Cranley said. "It's a never-ending, continuous improvement."

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Louisville police officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting fired

Protesters hold pictures of Breonna Taylor, left, Andrew Kearse, center, and Ahmaud Arbery, right, during a demonstration on June 22 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Louisville police officer Brett Hankison was fired on Tuesday, effective immediately, for "blindly" firing 10 bullets into Breonna Taylor's apartment on March 13, the police department announced.

Driving the news: Black Lives Matter protesters and activists on social media have called for punitive action in the wake of Taylor's death, after she was fatally shot by police who entered her apartment without warning through a "no-knock" warrant.

Updated Jun 19, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation to commemorate Juneteenth

On Friday, June 19, Axios' markets reporter Dion Rabouin hosted a discussion on the history of Juneteenth and the current nationwide protests against police violence, featuring former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, BET founder Robert Johnson and activist DeRay Mckesson.

Robert Johnson discussed the history of Juneteenth and his advocacy around reparations.

  • On reparations and race relations: "Reparations is a demand on the part of African-Americans that we be made whole for the wealth that was stolen from slaves over a 300 year period...My position is that white America should recognize the debt and black Americans should be proud to accept the atonement."
  • How slavery laid the foundation for racial income inequality: "It is no secret that the net income of a white family is $170,000 on average. The net income of a black family is $17,000. That 10-fold disparity can be traced directly back to the wealth transfer that started with slave labor."

Mayor Sylvester Turner focused on policy decisions around policing in Houston, and responded to calls for defunding the police.

  • On his decision to increase police funding: "We need policing. [People] are asking for good policing. They're asking for a policing system that's accountable. They're also going beyond that...They want to be investing in communities and neighborhoods that have been overlooked and under invested in for decades."

Valerie Jarrett discussed the ongoing demonstrations around the country and the upcoming election in November.

  • On the importance of civil rights during this political moment: "We need a robust civil rights division...in deciding how you want to vote, you should say, are the people who are in office actually worrying about the civil rights of all Americans and not just some Americans?"
  • On how to make cultural progress: "It's not good enough to just say, 'Look, I'm not a racist.' What you have to say is: 'What am I going to do to help change our culture, to make it better?' There's something that we can all do individually. There's certainly something the business community can do."

DeRay Mckesson highlighted how the present moment invites people to reimagine the concept of safety.

  • "The question is not police, no police. The question is like, how do I stay safe and what does safety look like? The police are not the best answer to that. The police aren't the only answer to that. And the police shouldn't be the answer that we fund when we think of that question."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Georgia passes bipartisan hate crimes bill

Protesters in Brunswick, Georgia on June 4 after a court appearance by Gregory and Travis McMichael, who were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Georgia's legislature voted 127-38 on Tuesday to pass a bill requiring police officers to document when someone is subjected to a hate crime on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion or national origin.

The big picture, via the Wall Street Journal: Georgia has been weighing the passage of a hate crimes law for two decades.